Dream a Little Dream of Me.

Is Sexual Polygamy A Biological Imperative?

DaveScot In This Thread at Uncommon Descent made the following observation:

Not all brilliant men are skirt chasers of course but…

There’s a lot more to it than what the author suggested. The temptations are greater for brilliant men. A lot of women are very attracted to smart men regardless of wealth, power, or physical good looks. They don’t necessarily want to wed but they do want them for the father of their children. That drive in women would probably be the major factor. Monogamy for humans is a social convention not a biological imperative. Polygamy for men is a biological imperative. Look at the setup – men produce millions of gametes fresh every day for most of their lives. Women are born with a fixed number of gametes of limited shelf life. Clearly two different reproductive strategies set in opposition are in play there. But even given that women have a biological imperative to attract a keep a single mate she doesn’t have a biological imperative to be sexually monogamous with him.

At any rate, what I described above should work to cause allelic evolution to favor high intelligence in humans. And remember, when it comes to the science of evolution, should is the same as does.

Comment by DaveScot — July 16, 2006 @ 9:48 am

We asked for and received permission from Dave to republish the above quote, because we thought it was an interesting topic to consider. (More white roses and kisses on the cheek for that. Thank you.)

Now, if you’ve spent more than 30 seconds at this blog, you should be quite well aware that Corporal Kate and I are as far from prudes as one (or two) could be.

And of course we are in the very early stages of what we hope will be a permanent, loving relationship. But is there any reason to believe it will or even should be a monogomous one?

We’re not just talking about “cheating” here. We’ve kind of batted around some “hypothetically”s and some “ideally”s.

Now before you run screaming “OH MY EYES! PERVERTS! LESBIAN WHORES!”, we haven’t made any plans to invite other people into our bed. And if we do, that’s our decision. Our blog, Our lives, Our rules, Behold the Door. We’re not interested in having anyone police our bed.

I guess the question is, “if sexual monogomy is either impossible or impractical in this day and age, why not avoid the guilt, the lies, and the damage to our relationship and just be honest about it? Why not just share our Strange?”

Can two people avoid the problems of jealousy and make such a relationship work?

As for Denyse O’Leary’s….Victorian Pile of Snuffleupagus crapola comment at UD, we agree that Dave expressed our thoughts at least as well as we could have, so we’re going to take a pass on comments on that after all.

Except he forgot to say “whack-job”. Other than that, he’s all good.

Now, Leper Colony weighed in before we could get the post together, but we’re going to let his comment stand with a minor admonition to him to read the instructions in the future. No raspberries for LC.

This time.


So, does everybody eventually have that itch to scratch, and if so, why not scratch it together and keep the relationship together? It’s supposed to be about love not sex, right? If everybody’s safe, uses condoms, consents, and has fun, what’s the problem?

We tend to agree with Dave that sexual monogomy is a social convention, not a biological imperative.

We think it’s a silly idea, and a it’s a fairly recent one in human history, and should be buried where it lies. Trying to be monogomous is like trying to eat only peas. Good luck with that.

Filed under: About, Biology, Corporal Kate, Education, Fundies, Religion, Science, Sex

13 Responses

  1. LeperColony says:

    If it were imperative, you would expect to see it somewhat more pervasive. People seem to be opportunistically polygamous, not imperatively so.

  2. Rich Hughes says:

    Polygamy is a social constraint. That’s how ‘natural’ it is.

  3. JanieBelle says:

    Says you. Expound.

  4. JanieBelle says:

    Well then. There was a bit of discussion on this topic at UD and I was just about to unload a pretty good diatribe on that freako woman, Denyse O’Leary, and UD disappeared.

    I guess I’ve either been really, really banned (so bad I can’t even see the page!), or I may have melted the fragile-eared CPU of the server.

    I’m betting on the latter.

    (Of course I haven’t been banned, it was a joke. HAHA.)

    I hope I didn’t do the latter though. It probably doesn’t hear from people like us much.

  5. JanieBelle says:

    Ok, well. UD is back, but no one is commenting. Here, either. Or at AtBC.

    I appear to have broken the entire interweb.

    Sorry ’bout that.

  6. JanieBelle says:

    Well I dun run ’em all off, I reckon. I was the only one left, so I declared myself the winner, called them all sissies, and took my ball and came home.

    The tail end of the conversation:

    24. Lllith is something I always thought cooked up by “misogynistic men” i.e woman as a demon.
    Of course, I always thought polygamy, assuming it was not warranted by circumstances, was a bit on the misogynistic side too. At least it certainly seems unadvantageous to you ladies.
    Comment by tribune7 — July 16, 2006 @ 3:39 pm

    25. OK, who left the door open and let the 19th century back in?
    Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 3:39 pm

    26. Hey tribune. Polygomy shouldn’t have to be misogynistic. What’s good for the gander should be good for the goose, right?
    Oh, the comment above was for Denyse.
    Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

    27. Tribune,
    I see the point you’re making about Lilith. And it’s a valid one, the misogyny of her consorting with demons and all. But I’ve always thought of her as more heroic. She supposedly told Adam “I will not lie below” when he (very misogynistically) yacked about being superior and all.
    She took the position of a strong woman, and said “eh, piss off, I don’t need you if you’re gonna be a jerk”.
    That’s the part the church found too dangerous to let the masses hear, even if she was portrayed as a whore and a demon. “Don’t want them there womens gettin no idears or nuthin” (in Latin, of course)
    I like Lilith.
    Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

    28. ‘course Mom says I’m part demon…..
    Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 3:52 pm

    29. What? Little girl stood up to the self-loathing loud-mouthed women of the board and everybody ran for cover?
    Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 4:08 pm

    30. Well then, I think I’ll just take my ball and go home. Since I’m the only one left, I declare myself the winner by default. You may all come to my blog and compliment me on my stunning rhetorical skills at your leisure.
    Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

  7. JanieBelle says:

    Ok, now that I’ve LEFT they want to start talking.

    To my back.




    Raspberries to them all.

  8. JanieBelle says:

    Sweetheart, they only did that because they thought it was safer to grab a tiger by the tail.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.


  9. Anonymous says:

    I see I missed all the fun. Again. Thats what I get for living in another time zone and being away at a conference for work.

    My 18 cents worth (Its the inflation) is that reproduction is a biological imperative, and whatever enables more offspring to survive into adulthood will have an advantage. This depends upon the environment the people/ family groups are in. Also, I suspect that several strategies work well enough for the same environment, such that if a society gets onto one strategy, eg polygamy, and gets along ok, then theres no reason to change. It usually takes several generations after being conquered or converted to change them to a different way of doing things.
    Plus we don tknow enough yet about the genetic basis of preferences. I know people who like havin gmultiple partners, and others who clearly dont. We need more research into how much this is base dupon their uprbringing, ie environmental factors, and how much is based upon genetics, eg higher sex hormone levels or greater or lesser desire for children.
    At the moment, all I say is that both polygamy, monogamy and any other combination you can think of has been practised more or less successfully, so there is clearly a lot of room for manouvre.

  10. JanieBelle says:

    I had a comment about manouvring and hormones, but I guess it was pretty obvious from this whole blog.

    (hint: it was sexual innuendo)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thats ok, I can fill in the gaps myself…

    Personally, I find habitual innuendo use, like quite anumber of people I know/ have known, gets very boring. But proper use in conversation is another matter entirely.

  12. JanieBelle says:

    Yeah, well, we’re new lovers, whatd’ya want?


    I am a FIEND for her luvin’!


  13. Brilliant!

    You interest me, I am glad to wish you happiness this day! Be well!

    Peace and Love.

    Dominic Ebacher

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